Published: 20 January, 2017
• ISLINGTON Council is leading a cross-party call for the government to help protect vulnerable young people at risk of exploitation in “county lines” drug-dealing operations run by older gang members.
I have written to Home Secretary Amber Rudd asking for a meeting to discuss the issue, in a letter co-signed by the lead members for children’s services in 19 London boroughs.
“County lines” is a model of organised class A drug dealing where established operators, usually gangs, expand their operations into seaside and market towns outside London. Exploited vulnerable children from London, some as young as 12, have been found operating county lines in Cornwall and south Wales.
A truly effective strategy and action plan needs to be drawn up at a national level by the Home Office. We all need to work together on this to safeguard vulnerable young people – and the Home Secretary needs to act urgently.
CLLR JOE CALUORI
Labour executive member
for children, young people and families